How can students prepare for A levels?
When approaching A level revision, there’s no singular correct method. There can never be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach when preparing because we are all different. Read these ideas from ‘Jake’, our first student blogger.
Below you will find my personal suggestions to some of the conventional revision methods; I’ve found these have worked very well for my peers and for me, an A level student.
6 A Level Revision Tips
1. Select carefully
Choose subjects that you are passionate about – this will make your revision, not necessarily easier, but more enjoyable from the offset.
If not, then find aspects that you do enjoy and exploit them vigorously. Some schools offer to switch your subjects over. If you discover earlier on in the year that another subject may fulfil your passion more then swap!
2. Find what works for you
To work out which revision method works best for you, utilise the first set of mocks as a practice-run; this will help not only for reaching your target grades but for trialling various revision techniques. For example explore the benefits of mind maps and flashcards, as well as discussing what you have learnt with friends or family.
3. Watch out
By all means watch videos in order to find other methods, but be wary of getting stuck in a You Tube loop that will trick you into thinking you have done work. Once you know this, you can tailor your revision more efficiently.
Still not sure where to start? Create a timetable!
Despite it being daunting, an effective timetable can make all the difference. List everything on the syllabus for your subjects and space it out over a long period of time. When a revision timetable is coupled with the chunking method of revision (splitting your subject into manageable sections over a period of time) it makes a formidable revision strategy.
5. Total recall
Alongside this, it is important to recognise the benefits of recall and application, over familiarity.
Revisiting old notes can be reassuring; however, if you are unable to recall and apply them in a test-oriented environment, then the note-taking is useless. Apply the fruits of your revision to Practice Papers and identify the areas which you may be familiar with but can’t recall effectively in timed conditions…and repeat!
6. Take care of yourself
Remember to look after no.1!
Maintain your mental and physical health throughout revision, ensure you give yourself regular breaks, eat healthily, get at least 8 hours of sleep a night (especially in the lead up to exams), exercise (even if it’s just a walk) but remember to go out with friends too.
Revision may be important but be wary of letting it take over your life. If methods are not working, dump them! Keep the goals of revision present in your mind; why do you want or need a particular grade and what doors will it open for you later in life?